Deity Name : Indra
In Vedic times, Indra was the supreme ruler of the gods. He was the leader of
the Devas, the god of war, the god of thunder and storms, the greatest of all
warriors, the strongest of all beings. He was the defender of gods and mankind
against the forces of evil. He had early aspects of a sun-god, riding in a
golden chariot across the heavens, but he is more often known as the god of
thunder, wielding the celestial weapon Vajra, the lightening bolt. He also
employs the bow, a net, and a hook in battle. He shows aspects of being a creator
god, having set order to the cosmos, and since he was the one who brought water
to earth, he was a fertility god as well. He also had the power to revive slain
warriors who had fallen in battle.
Indra is described as being very powerful, with a reddish complexion, and with
either two or four very long arms. His parents were the sky god Dyaus Pita and
the earth goddess Prthivi; he was born fully-grown and fully armed from his mother's
side. His wife was Indrani, and his attendants were called the Maruts. His sons
are named as Jayanta, Midhusa, Nilambara, Rbhus, Rsabha, Sitragupta, and, most
importantly, Arjuna. More hymns in the Rig Veda (about 250) are dedicated to
him than any other god by a sizable amount. He was known as a great drinker of
Soma; sometimes he did this to draw strength, and when he did he grew to gigantic
proportions to battle his enemies, but more often he merely wanted to get drunk.
When not in his chariot, Indra rode on the great white elephant Airavata, who
was always victorious, and who had four tusks which resembled a sacred mountain.
He was given numerous titles including Sakra ("Powerful"), Vajri ("the Thunderer"),
Purandara ("Destroyer of Cities"), Meghavahana ("Rider of the Clouds"), and Svargapati
("the Lord of Heaven").
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